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  1. #1

    Default Standing Bear Hostel (2013)

    I would, however, like to share my experience from my stay at Standing Bear Hostel during my 2013 thru-hike. This thread is not intended to start an argument but to notify future hikers that Standing Bear might not be the place for you. I would also hope that Standing Bear takes a turn in a better direction from hikers speaking openly about their stay.
    I believe in open communication and understanding there are always two sides to every story. Well, this is my side of the story (I omitted names from my post).

    When I walked up to Standing Bear, I was shocked to see the amount of drug and alcohol use going on. I could care less if people drink or smoke, but this place had a vibe that drugs were more of a business than a leisure activity. I was greeted by three men who were smoking pot. I did not get a welcoming hello, but more of a “damn, another hiker showed up” response. One of the men showed me around and explained how the place worked. One of the “rules” was “If a girl says ‘No’, she means ‘No’”. It worried me that this “rule” needed to be said, let alone at one point enforced. Really??
    When I was touring the bunk room, I noticed one of the workers had a bed in the same room where the hikers slept. I noticed a copy of Mein Kampf on his bed. This worker was covered in questionable tattoos and sported a shaved head (not to start a skinhead debate, but I know the difference between a traditional skinhead and a racist skinhead, yes they are two different things). Now, let me say that I am also covered in tattoos and would never judge someone else with heavy amounts of work. The same worker questioned me about my race while I was eating dinner. I found this humorous to be honest.
    A hiker that I had spent a few days with prior to arriving at the hostel, had arrived earlier in the morning. He needed help getting a ride into town because his pack needed to be replaced. The hostel agreed to give him a ride into town around noon. At noon, the hiker went and asked if they could go into town. The worker said they would be able to go around 2:00 instead. The hiker went back at 2:00 and asked for a ride. The worker said he was too drunk and could not drive. The hiker had to call another shuttle to get a ride into town. Not only did this upset the hiker, but soon after the worker denied him of the ride, he drove off to pick up his daughter as school.
    When I woke up in the morning, I was welcomed to a nice pile of puke in the middle of the walkway to the bunk house. The tattooed worker had a little too much to drink and had thrown up his pizza from the night before. A hiker asked if it could be cleaned up and the response was “It will rain soon enough.”

    It upsets me knowing this hostel could be an amazing stop on the trail. I heard from hikers who thru-hiked in previous years, that the place had changed toward the negative side of things in recent years.

    On the other side of the story, I spoke with 2013 hikers who enjoyed their stay at the hostel. To each their own I guess. I would like to hear about those positive experiences from their stay so hikers can make their own decisions on their hike.
    Last edited by Alligator; 11-06-2013 at 21:59. Reason: TOS #3
    Out of step with the world...

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  2. #2

    Default

    let it go, really

  3. #3
    PCT, Sheltowee, Pinhoti, LT , BMT, AT, SHT, CDT 560 miles 10-K's Avatar
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    Yeah.. let it go. I was through there last week and had one of the best stops I had between Springer and Erwin.

  4. #4
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    I stayed there last month for a nite and enjoyed it. Left my car for a couple of days while section hiking. I guess it just depends on when you are there.

  5. #5

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    wasnt the original thread closed?it seems the overwhelming majority of people who have stayed there have had positive experiences.in most cases ive seen, where one was disappointed with a hostel, the hostel was rarely at fault.

  6. #6

    Default

    Thank you for your replies.

    I find it interesting that similar threads have been made about the same hostel though. In my opinion there is an issue being swept under the rug here.

    Good point hikerboy57, I feel the same way about some issues in regards to hostels on here. I guess that is up to the reader to decide though.


    I will let the mods and other forum members decide what they will do with this thread. I just know that while hiking on the trail this year, no other hostel was brought up more than Standing Bear was. I find that to be very interesting.

    Good day to all and happy hiking!
    Out of step with the world...

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  7. #7
    Thru-hiker 2013 NoBo CarlZ993's Avatar
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    I stayed there are well during my NoBo 2013 hike. Lot of dope smoking going on there. I saw one guy residing there that had what appeared to be prison tattoos. I got the strong vibe that this establishment (or at least some of the people staying at the establishment) was involved in undocumented pharmaceutical work. As a retired cop, I kept my mouth shut and left early the next day and hiked on.

    Logistically, it's a great location to stop. I'm unsure if I'd stop there if I do another thru-hike.

  8. #8
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    There is obviously something going on at this place, but have the negatives really started to approach the positives, I don't know. There are certain negative aspects, and perhaps you caught a time when all line up, and therefore got a more negative experience then most. If this is trend they will fail (the AT will not allow it in the long run). I do feel that some attention must be paid to if this should be part of the AT community, but I am not willing to wright them off yet.

    On my stay, and I am somewhat unusual in that good stuff comes to me while bad stuff is pushed away, so it would be unlikely that I would experience a bad stay, I found it OK, I had the Antarctic bunk, and had no issue with any of the staff. Rocket hinted to me that more then beer was available but I let it be at that. None of the staff seemed over intoxicated during my stay.

    Coming out of the Smokies I welcome a stay, if it is unusual it adds to the AT thru hiking experience as long as it is not harmful, If it is harmful it should be removed from the AT experience IMHO.

  9. #9
    Registered User ChinMusic's Avatar
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    I found the "extra-curricular activities" easy enough to avoid. It was an interesting stop that added to my memories of the trail. I was treated very well by Curtis.
    Fear ridges that are depicted as flat lines on a profile map.

  10. #10
    Peakbagger Extraordinaire The Solemates's Avatar
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    We've stayed with Curtis. We were the only guests, as it was early February. He had had way too much to drink (he caught himself on fire when we were there by starting a campfire with gasoline) and openly talked about where his drugs came from. we let it go, as others have. we were treated well. and curtis generally treats hikers well. but he does have issues.
    The only thing better than mountains, is mountains where you haven't been.

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  11. #11

    Default

    don't be coy. if you're going to play around at defamation and hurt a mans livelihood, just get it over with. the implication is what exactly? someone is cooking meth? please.

  12. #12
    Registered User kofritz's Avatar
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    as a section hiker i really looked forward to staying at Standing Bear and enjoyed my stay. i did not experience any of the stuff cro-mag complains of.

  13. #13

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    Or do what I do when passing through there - pass through there. I arrange my schedule to spend the night at Davenport Gap shelter, which is always really quiet. The next day go to Standing Bear, resupply and have a pizza for lunch, then move on. Pleanty of time to get to Groundhog creek shelter or one of the several campsites along the way on the climb up to Snowbird.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by kofritz View Post
    as a section hiker i really looked forward to staying at Standing Bear and enjoyed my stay. i did not experience any of the stuff cro-mag complains of.
    Same here, on my SOBO section hike in '04. I was the only guest.

  15. #15
    Hopeful Hiker QHShowoman's Avatar
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    The "let it go" comments are really irritating.

    WB should welcome both positive and negative reviews, as long as they're written based on firsthand knowledge. If this is truly the only "bad review" in a sea of positive reviews, then there's no implicit threat -- just information that some may want to consider.
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    Quote Originally Posted by QHShowoman:1814458
    The "let it go" comments are really irritating.

    WB should welcome both positive and negative reviews, as long as they're written based on firsthand knowledge. If this is truly the only "bad review" in a sea of positive reviews, then there's no implicit threat -- just information that some may want to consider.
    the original thread was closed

  17. #17
    Springer to Elk Park, NC/Andover to Katahdin
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    I have stayed there on three different occasions and have had nothing but positive experiences.
    I am not young enough to know everything.

  18. #18
    Hopeful Hiker QHShowoman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hikerboy57 View Post
    the original thread was closed
    What meaning should I be extrapolating from this?

    If it violated TOS, that's one thing. But if it was closed because someone was offended that the hostel in question received a poor review, then I think closing the thread was a disservice to the WB community.
    you left to walk the appalachian trail
    you can feel your heart as smooth as a snail
    the mountains your darlings
    but better to love than have something to scale


    -Girlyman, "Hold It All At Bay"

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by QHShowoman View Post
    What meaning should I be extrapolating from this?

    If it violated TOS, that's one thing. But if it was closed because someone was offended that the hostel in question received a poor review, then I think closing the thread was a disservice to the WB community.
    the terms of service say we cannot reopen or discuss closed threads.there is a group that was formed for service providers to keep hearsay out of the main forums.this isnt a court where you're guilty till proven innocent.there have been numerous complaints about different hostels over the years, most without merit.its no different than staying ata shelter. if you dont like the vibe, you keep walking.

  20. #20
    Registered User mrcoffeect's Avatar
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    How many wacks does it take to get to the tootsie roll center of a dead horse?

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